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Functional Fitness offers virtual exercising through Stanly County Senior Center

Charlotte Maness will turn 83 in May. She credits her longevity to the fact that she stays busy with activities.

Maness, who is usually busy this time of year by preparing for a show as president of the Stanly County Concert Association, activities at Central United Methodist Church or one of the other organizations she is involved with, has looked for other ways to stay healthy and active during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m grateful that I have the energy and desire to stay busy,” Maness said.

Last spring she participated in a healthy living program through the Stanly County Senior Center via the telephone. She also took a chair yoga class out of Alexandria, Virginia.

Now she is participating in Functional Fitness, a virtual exercising program the Senior Center offers at 3 p.m. each Tuesday.

“I am thrilled to death that she has [the program] and I want to keep it up,” Maness said. “She makes it real interesting, real easy.”

The “she” is Pamela Sullivan, the center’s program coordinator.

“This pandemic has turned life upside down for just about everyone, preventing people from working, socializing and performing everyday activities,” Sullivan said. “Older adults are more likely to restrict their activities to help reduce their chances of contracting coronavirus. Although it’s important for older adults to protect their health during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s also vital they stay physically and mentally active. Seniors in our community now have the option to participate in classes virtually or in person.”

Functional Fitness “encourages older adults to stay active and maintain gains in strength, balance and flexibility that reduce fall risk, strengthen the immune system and improve quality of life while at home,” she added. “Studies show that regular exercise can help older adults stay independent and prevent many health problems that come with age.”  

Maness said Sullivan keeps it simple with exercises either standing up or sitting in a chair during the 30 minutes or less class.

“If you sign up for something like that, you get in the habit of doing it,” said Maness, who has also participated in the Zoom Coffee Chat held at 9 a.m. Tuesdays.

“I just appreciate the fact that they are trying to do as many things as they can,” Maness said. “I just encourage people to try it. The Senior Center — ours is really good. It’s a lighthouse to a lot of people that don’t have other things going on.”